In December of 2007, what should have been one of the most routine decisions of Torrey Kretschman's life turned out to be the last one he ever made
. The 31-year-old from Sacramento hopped just a tad too hard when attempting to seat on a Candlestick Park railing and fell several dozen feet to his death.
Kretschman's family and friends have labored to keep his memory alive; next week a group calling itself "Kretschman's Krew" will run a 199-mile relay for the second time to raise money in their deceased friend's name for organ donation (you can donate here
). Kretschman's mother would like more, however. She wants the San Francisco 49ers to put up some kind of barricade to keep folks from attempting to sit, dangerously, on the walkway railings Kretschman tumbled off of. While the team graciously allowed Kretschman's friends to scatter his ashes in the endzone last year, she says they have so far shut her out regarding the railings.
"My main thing now is to get something done so this doesn't happen to anyone else," said Peggy McCray. While she has been unable to set foot in Candlestick Park since her son's death, many of her family friends have -- and they reported back to her that adolescents and young teenagers are perching precariously on the railings that Kretschman fell from.
While McCray notes that the 49ers have since painted some of the lower railings red and also put up signs warning of the dangers of falling, she would like to see an actual barricade. McCray notes that she has contacted the city and the 49ers about potentially being compensated for the death of her son -- and the city rejected her claim -- but she told SF Weekly that she would not take a cent if the team were to put up a barricade. Our calls to Lisa Lang, the 49ers' vice president of communications, have not yet been returned.
"There's a lot of people who sit on those [railings]," McCray said. "You can't tell me Torrey was the only one."